My son, 16, had some friends over on Saturday night, and they were in the living room; I was in the kitchen. The door was open. We’ve lived in this house our entire life, and he knew I could hear the conversation.
He and his friends were having a conversation and, to summarise, a friend complained he had been on a date with a girl, he paid for her food, and they went somewhere in his car, and they started to have sex, but she changed her mind halfway through.
I heard what at first I thought was a friend my son wouldn’t see anymore say, “Nah, you shouldn’t have stopped. By the time you’re in her, the p*ssy pass has expired.” And I turned to see who it was (the TV was on, and also it just never would have occurred to me this were my son), but it was him who’d said it.
WATCH: Explaining consent with dinner. Post continues below.
He saw me standing in the doorframe, but he continued, saying (I’m going to paraphrase because I’m too disgusted to recount it all), "it’s not your fault she regrets giving it up or only wanted to go until she was finished. She went with you, that’s consent".
To my relief, at least, his friends were obviously super uncomfortable with his remarks. One said, “that’s really not how it works,” and the one who had the date said, “I mean, I was mad, and I’m still mad, but if I hadn’t stopped, that would’ve been rape, dude”. My son casually brushed it off with, “Nah, it wouldn’t have been”. The conversation died down, and his friends left within half an hour after this.
I kind of organised my thoughts, and I read some articles online, and I searched the past for how I went so horribly wrong (I’m amicably divorced from his mother and have partial custody, on weekends), and I called her to let her know what I heard. She was stunned.
Yesterday I sat him down and basically said, “I overheard you talking with your friends last night. I know there’s a lot of pressure at this age to impress your friends, but that was not the way to go about it. Do you believe any of those things you were saying?” He was totally unfazed and said, “yeah, of course.”